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Saturday, July 11, 2015
St. John Gualbert
Feast: July 12
ST. JOHN GUALBERT was born at Florence, A. D. 999. Following the profession of arms at that troubled period, he became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. One Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his enemy in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord's holy Passion, to spare his life. St. John said to his enemy, "I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin." Grace triumphed. A humble and changed man, he entered the Church of St. Miniato, which was near; and whilst he prayed, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him as if to ratify his pardon. Abandoning the world, he gave himself up to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. Later he was led to found the congregation called of Vallombrosa, from the shady valley a few miles from Florence, where he established his first monastery. Once the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of St. Salvi, plundered it, and set fire to it, and having treated the monks with ignominy, beat them and wounded them. St. John rejoiced. "Now," he said, "you are true monks. Would that I myself had had the honor of being with you when the soldiers came, that I might have had a share in the glory of your crowns! " He fought manfully against simony, and in many ways promoted the interest of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died whilst the angels were singing round his bed, July 11, 1073.
St. Benedict of Nursia, Italy (A.D. 480-543), the twin brother of St. Scholastica, is Father of Western monasticism. His “Rule of St. Benedict” is the rule for many religious orders. The Benedictine Order is located at Monte Cassino, Italy, about 80 miles South of Rome). He had been living as a hermit in a cave for three years, when a religious community came to him after the death of their abbot and asked Benedict to become their leader. Some of the “monks” didn’t like this and tried to kill him with poisoned food. St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over the food, and became aware they were poisoned, then toppled the cup and told a raven to carry off the bread.
About the Medal The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict according to the Catholic Encyclopedia : FRONT One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend “Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus” (May we at our death be fortified by his presence). BACK The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: “Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).
The History of the Jubilee Medal The medal was made in 1880, to commemorate the fourteenth centenary of St. Benedict’s birth. The Archabbey of Monte Cassino has the exclusive right to strike this medal. The ordinary medal of St. Benedict usually differs from the preceding in the omission of the words “Ejus in obitu etc.”, and in a few minor details. (For the indulgences connected with it see Beringer, “Die Ablässe”, Paderborn, 1906, p. 404-6.) The habitual wearer of the jubilee medal can gain all the indulgences connected with the ordinary medal and, in addition: (1) All the indulgences that could be gained by visiting the basilica, crypt, and tower of St. Benedict at Monte Cassino (Pius IX, 31 December, 1877) (2) A plenary indulgence on the feast of All Souls (from about two o’clock in the afternoon of 1 November to sunset of 2 November), as often as (toties quoties), after confession and Holy Communion, he visits any church or public oratory, praying there according to the intention of the pope, provided that he is hindered from visiting a church or public oratory of the Benedictines by sickness, monastic enclosure or a distance of at least 1000 steps. (Decr. 27 February, 1907, in Acta S. Sedis, LX, 246.) Any priest may receive the faculties to bless these medals.
Origins It is doubtful when the Medal of St. Benedict originated. During a trial for witchcraft at Natternberg near the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria in the year 1647, the accused women testified that they had no power over Metten, which was under the protection of the cross. Upon investigation, a number of painted crosses, surrounded by the letters which are now found on Benedictine medals, were found on the walls of the abbey, but their meaning had been forgotten. Finally, in an old manuscript, written in 1415, was found a picture representing St. Benedict holding in one hand a staff which ends in a cross, and a scroll in the other. On the staff and scroll were written in full the words of which the mysterious letters were the initials. Medals bearing the image of St. Benedict, a cross, and these letters began now to be struck in Germany, and soon spread over Europe. They were first approved by Benedict XIV in his briefs of 23 December, 1741, and 12 March, 1742.
Specific Promises associated with the St. Benedict Medal
1. To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences;
2. To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded, or tormented by evil spirits;
3. To obtain the conversion of sinners into the Catholic Church, especially when they are in danger of death;
4. To serve as an armor against temptation;
5. To destroy the effects of poison;
6. To secure a timely and healthy birth for children;
7. To afford protection against storms and lightning;
8. To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases.
How to wear the medal 1. On a chain around the neck; 2. Attached to one’s rosary; 3. Kept in one’s pocket or purse; 4. Placed in one’s car or home; 5. Placed in the foundation of a building; 6. Placed in the center of a cross.
Approved Blessing of the Medal of St. Benedict
Medals of Saint Benedict are sacramentals that may be blessed by any priest or deacon --
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
In the name of God the Father + almighty, who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them, I exorcise these medals against the power and attacks of the evil one. May all who use these medals devoutly be blessed with health of soul and body. In the name of the Father +almighty, of the Son + Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the Holy + Spirit the Paraclete, and in the love of the same Lord Jesus Christ who will come on the last day to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.
Let us pray. Almighty God, the boundless source of all good things, we humbly ask that, through the intercession of Saint Benedict, you pour out your blessings + upon these medals. May those who use them devoutly and earnestly strive to perform good works be blessed by you with health of soul and body, the grace of a holy life, and remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.
May they also with the help of your merciful love, resist the temptation of the evil one and strive to exercise true charity and justice toward all, so that one day they may appear sinless and holy in your sight. This we ask though Christ our Lord.
The medals are then sprinkled with holy water.
Permissu superiorum -Nihil obstat and Imprimatur, Saint Cloud, 24 April 1980.
Buy a St. Benedict Jubilee Medal from the Benedictine Mission House in theUSA http://www.benedictinemissionhouse.com/index.php/d-medals-stbenedict/product/9-medal-1-p-10
Pope Francis in Paraguay-Holy Mass at the Marian Shrine of Caacupé Caacupé local time: 10.00- Pope Francis goes to the Marian Shrine of Caacupé for the celebration of Holy Mass. Upon his arrival in the churchyard of the Shrine, he receives the keys of the city from the Mayor. FULL TEXT Homily Pope Francis gave in Paraguay
Being here with you makes me feel at home, at the feet of our Mother, the Virgin of Miracles of Caacupé. In every shrine we, her children, encounter our Mother and are reminded that we are brothers and sisters. Shrines are places of festival, of encounter, of family. We come to present our needs. We come to give thanks, to ask forgiveness and to begin again. How many baptisms, priestly and religious vocations, engagements and marriages, have been born at the feet of our Mother! How many tearful farewells! We come bringing our lives, because here we are at home and it is wonderful to know there is someone waiting for us.
As so often in the past, we now come because we want to renew our desire to live the joy of the Gospel.
As so often in the past, we now come because we want to renew our desire to live the joy of the Gospel.
How can we forget that this shrine is a vital part of the Paraguayan people, of yourselves? You feel it, it shapes your prayers, and you sing: "Here, in your Eden of Caacupé, are your people, Virgin most pure, who offer you their love and their faith”. Today we gather as the People of God, at the feet of our Mother, to offer her our love and our faith.
In the Gospel, we have just heard the greeting of the angel to Mary: Rejoice, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Rejoice, Mary, rejoice. Upon hearing this greeting, Mary was confused and asked herself what it could mean. She did not fully understand what was happening. But she knew that the angel came from God and so she said yes. Mary is the Mother of Yes. Yes to God’s dream, yes to God’s care, yes to God’s will.
It was a yes that, as we know, was not easy to live. A yes that bestowed no privileges or distinctions. Simeon told her in his prophecy: "a sword will pierce your heart” (Lk 2:35), and indeed it did. That is why we love her so much. We find in her a true Mother, one who helps us to keep faith and hope alive in the midst of complicated situations. Pondering Simeon’s prophecy, we would do well to reflect briefly on three difficult moments in Mary’s life.
1. The birth of Jesus. There was no room for them. They had no house, no dwelling to receive her Son. There was no place where she could give birth. They had no family close by; they were alone. The only place available was a stall of animals. Surely she remembered the words of the angel: "Rejoice, Mary, the Lord is with you”. She might well have asked herself: "Where is he now?”.
2. The flight to Egypt. They had to leave, to go into exile. Not only was there no room for them, no family nearby, but their lives were also in danger. They had to depart and go to a foreign land. They were migrants, on account of the envy and greed of the King. There too she might well have asked: "What happened to all those things promised by the angel?
3. Jesus’ death on the cross. There can be no more difficult experience for a mother than to witness the death of her child. It is heartrending. We see Mary there, at the foot of the cross, like every mother, strong, faithful, staying with her child even to his death, death on the cross. Then she encourages and supports the disciples.
We look at her life, and we feel understood, we feel heard. We can sit down to pray with her and use a common language in the face of the countless situations we encounter each day. We can identify with many situations in her own life. We can tell her what is happening in our lives, because she understands.
Mary is the woman of faith; she is the Mother of the Church; she believed. Her life testifies that God does not deceive us, or abandon his people, even in moments or situations when it might seem that he is not there. Mary was the first of her Son’s disciples and in moments of difficulty she kept alive the hope of the apostles. A woman attentive to the needs of others, she could say – when it seemed like the feast and joy were at an end – "they have no wine” (Jn 2:3). She was the woman who went to stay with her cousin Elizabeth "about three months” (Lk 1:56), so that Elizabeth would not be alone as she prepared to give birth.
We know all this from the Gospel, but we also know that in this land she is the Mother who has stood beside us in so many difficult situations. This shrine preserves and treasures the memory of a people who know that Mary is their Mother, and that she has always been at the side of her children.
Mary has always been in our hospitals, our schools and our homes. She has always sat at table in every home. She has always been part of the history of this country, making it a nation.
Hers has been a discreet and silent presence, making itself felt through a statue, a holy card or a medal. Under the sign of the rosary, we know that we are never alone.
Hers has been a discreet and silent presence, making itself felt through a statue, a holy card or a medal. Under the sign of the rosary, we know that we are never alone.
Why? Because Mary wanted to be in the midst of her people, with her children, with her family. She followed Jesus always, from within the crowd. As a good Mother, she did not want to abandon her children, rather, she would always show up wherever one of her children was in need. For the simple reason that she is our Mother.
A Mother who learned, amid so many hardships, the meaning of the words: "Do not be afraid, the Lord is with you”. A Mother who keeps saying to us: "Do whatever he tells you”. This is what she constantly says to us: "Do whatever he tells you”. She doesn’t have a plan of her own; she doesn’t come to tell us something new. She simply accompanies our faith with her own.
You know this from experience. All of you, all Paraguayans, share in the living memory of a people who have made incarnate these words of the Gospel. Here I would like especially to mention you, the women, wives and mothers of Paraguay, who at great cost and sacrifice were able to lift up a country defeated, devastated and laid low by war. You are keepers of the memory, the lifeblood of those who rebuilt the life, faith and dignity of your people. Like Mary, you lived through many difficult situations which, in the eyes of the world, would seem to discredit all faith. Yet, like Mary, inspired and sustained by her example, you continued to believe, even "hoping against all hope” (Rom 4:18). When all seemed to be falling apart, with Mary you said: "Let us not be afraid, the Lord is with us; he is with our people, with our families; let us do what he tells us”. Then and now, you found the strength not to let this land lose its bearings. God bless your perseverance, God bless and encourage your faith, God bless the women of Paraguay, the most glorious women of America.
As a people, we have come home, to this house of all Paraguayans, to hear once more those words which are so comforting: "Rejoice, the Lord is with you”. They are a summons to cherish your memory, your roots, and the many signs which you have received as a people of believers tested by trials and struggles. Yours is a faith which has become life, a life which has become hope, and a hope which leads to eminent charity. Yes, like Jesus, may you be outstanding in love. May you be bearers of this faith, this life and this hope. May you continue to build these up in Paraguay’s present and for its future.Gazing once more on Mary’s image, I invite you to join me in saying: "Here, in your Eden of Caacupé, are your people, Virgin most pure, who offer you their love and their faith”. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises and graces of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mr Director, Dear Childen, Members of the Staff, Dear Friends,
I thank you for your warm welcome. Thank you too for giving me this time to spend with you. Dear children, I want to ask you a question; maybe you can help me. They tell me that you are all very intelligent, and so I want to ask you: Did Jesus ever get annoyed? … Do you remember when? If this seems like a difficult question, let me help you. It was when they wouldn’t let the children come to him. That is the only time in the entire Gospel of Mark when we hear that he was “annoyed” (cf. Mk 10:13-15). We would say that he was really “ticked off”.
Do you get annoyed every now and then? Jesus felt that way when they wouldn’t let the children come to him. He was really mad. He loved children. Not that he didn’t like adults, but he was really happy to be with children. He enjoyed their company, he enjoyed being friends with them. But not only. He didn’t just want to have them around, he wanted something else: he wanted them to be an example. He told his disciples that “unless you become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:3).
The children kept coming to Jesus, and the adults kept trying to keep them away, but Jesus called them, embraced them and brought them forward, so that people us could learn to be like them. Today, he wants to tell us the same thing. He looks at us and he says: “Learn from the children”. We need to learn from you. We need to learn from your trust, your joy, and your tenderness. We need to learn from your ability to fight, from your strength, from your remarkable endurance. Some of you are fighters. And when we look at young “warriors” like you, we feel very proud. Isn’t that right, moms? Isn’t that right, dads and grandparents? Looking at you gives us strength, it gives us the courage to trust, to keep moving forward.
Dear mothers, fathers, grandparents: I know that it is not easy to be here. There are moments of great suffering and uncertainty. There are times of heartrending anguish but also moments of immense happiness. These two feelings often collide deep within us. However, there is no better relief than your tender compassion, your closeness to one another. It makes me happy to know that as families you help, encourage and support each other, so that you can keep going in these difficult moments. You count on the support of the doctors, nurses and the entire staff of this home. I thank them for their vocation of service, for helping not only to care for, but also to be there, for these young brothers and sisters of ours who suffer.
Let us never forget that Jesus is close to his children. He is very near, in our hearts. Never hesitate to pray to him, to talk to him, to share with him your questions and your pain. He is always with us, he is ever near and he will not let us fall.
There is another thing we can be sure of, and I would say it once again. Wherever there is a son or daughter, there is always a mother. Wherever Jesus is, there is Mary, the Virgin of Caacupé. Let us ask her to wrap us in her mantle, to protect and intercede for you and for your families.
And also, please don’t forget to pray for me. I am certain that your prayers are heard in heaven.
- Year XXII - Num. 130
|- The Pope offers gifts to Our Lady of Copacabana, patron of Bolivia|
|- In the Santa Cruz-Palmasola penitentiary: reclusion is not the same as exclusion|
|- The Pope arrives in Paraguay and lauds the role of women in the nation's history|
|- First hearing in the trial of ex-nuncio Jozef Wesolowski postponed due to ill health|
|The Pope offers gifts to Our Lady of Copacabana, patron of Bolivia|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father's last day in Bolivia began with Holy Mass celebrated in the chapel of the archbishop's residence in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and his offering to Our Lady of Copacabana, patron of Bolivia, of the gifts given to him by President Evo Morales last Wednesday during their meeting in the presidential palace.
“The President of the Nation, in a gesture of warmth, was so kind as to offer me two decorative honours on behalf of the Bolivian people. I thank the Bolivian people for their affection and the president for this courteous gesture. I would like to offer these two decorations to the patron saint of Bolivia, the Mother of this noble nation, so that she may always remember her people and from Bolivia, from the shrine where I would like them to be, that she may remember the Successor of Peter and the whole Church and care for them from Bolivia”.
He then recited the following prayer to the Virgin Mary:
“Mother of the Saviour and Our Mother, Queen of Bolivia, from the heights of your Shrine in Copacabana, heed the prayers and needs of your children, especially the poorest and most abandoned, and protect them. Receive as a gift from the heart of Bolivia and as a token of my filial affection these symbols of closeness and warmth that President Evo Morales Ayma has bestowed on me with cordial and generous affection, on behalf of the Bolivian people, on the occasion of this apostolic trip, which I entrusted to your solicitous intercession.
“I pray that these honours, which I leave here in Bolivia at your feet, and which recall the noble flight of the condor in the skies of the Andes and the honoured sacrifice of Fr. Luis Espinal, S.J., may be emblems of the everlasting love and persistent gratitude of the Bolivian people for your solicitous and intense tenderness.
At this moment, Mother, I place in your heart my prayers for all the many petitions of your children, which I have received in these days: I beg you to hear them; to give them your encouragement and protection, and to show to the whole of Bolivia your tenderness as a woman and as Mother of God, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen”.
|In the Santa Cruz-Palmasola penitentiary: reclusion is not the same as exclusion|
Vatican City, (VIS) – After celebrating Mass in the chapel of the archbishop's residence, the Pope visited the Santa Cruz-Palmasola penitentiary where he met with various groups of inmates – men, women and young people imprisoned for both petty and serious offences. The men's Pavilion PS4, where the meeting with the Pope took place, is open for daily visits and hosts around 2,800 detainees, whose family members (around 1,500 per day) are able to live with them in a sort of village protected and managed by the inmates themselves through a “General Regency” led by State security staff.
The Pope was received by the director of the penitentiary, the chaplain and Msgr. Jesus Juarez, head of prison pastoral ministry of the Episcopal Conference of Bolivia. After hearing testimonies from some of the detainees, he addressed those present.
!I could not leave Bolivia without seeing you, without sharing that faith and hope which are the fruit of the love revealed on the cross of Christ”, he said. “Thank you for welcoming me; I know that you have prepared yourselves for this moment and that you have been praying for me. I am deeply grateful for this”.
He continued, “You may be asking yourselves: 'Who is this man standing before us?'. I would like to reply to that question with something absolutely certain about my own life. The man standing before you is a man who has experienced forgiveness. A man who was, and is, saved from his many sins. That is who I am. I don’t have much more to give you or to offer you, but I want to share with you what I do have and what I love. It is Jesus Christ, the mercy of the Father.
“Jesus came to show the love which God has for us. For you and for me. It is a love which is powerful and real. It is a love which takes seriously the plight of those he loves. It is a love which heals, forgives, raises up and shows concern. It is a love which draws near and restores dignity. We can lose this dignity in so many ways. But Jesus is stubborn: he gave his very life to restore the identity we had lost.
“Here is something which can help us to understand this. Peter and Paul, disciples of Jesus, were prisoners too. They too lost their freedom. But there was something that sustained them, something that did not let them yield to despair, that experience of darkness and meaninglessness. That something was prayer, both individually and with others. They prayed, and they prayed for one another. These two forms of prayer became a network to maintain life and hope. And that network keeps us from yielding to despair. It encourages us to keep moving forward. It is a network which supports life, your own lives and those of your families.
“When Jesus becomes part of our lives, we can no longer remain imprisoned by our past. Instead, we begin look to the present, and we see it differently, with a different kind of hope. We begin to see ourselves and our lives in a different light. We are no longer stuck in the past, but capable of shedding tears and finding in them the strength to make a new start. If there are times when you experience sadness, depression, negative feelings, I would ask you to look at Christ crucified. Look at his face. He sees us; in his eyes there is a place for us. We can all bring to Christ our wounds, our pain, our sins. In his wounds, there is a place for our own wounds. There they can be soothed, washed clean, changed and healed. He died for us, for me, so that he could stretch out us his hand and lift us up. Talk to the priests who come here, talk to them! Jesus wants to help you get up, always.
“This certainty makes us work hard to preserve our dignity. Being imprisoned, 'shut in', is not the same thing as being 'shut out'. Detention is part of a process of reintegration into society. I know that there are many things here that make it hard: overcrowding, justice delayed, a lack of training opportunities and rehabilitation policies, violence. All these things point to the need for a speedy and efficient cooperation between institutions in order to come up with solutions. And yet, while working for this, we should not think that everything is lost. There are things that we can do even today.
“Here, in this rehabilitation centre, the way you live together depends to some extent on yourselves. Suffering and deprivation can make us selfish of heart and lead to confrontation, but we also have the capacity to make these things an opportunity for genuine fraternity. Help one another. Do not be afraid to help one another. The devil is looking for rivalry, division, gangs. Keep working to make progress.
“I would ask you to take my greetings to your families. Their presence and support are so important! Grandparents, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, couples, children: all of them remind us that life is worth living and that we should keep fighting for a better world. Finally, I offer a word of encouragement to all who work at this centre: to the administrators, the police officials and all the personnel. They carry out a vital public service. They have an important responsibility for facilitating the process of reintegration. It is their responsibility to raise up, not to put down, to restore dignity and not to humiliate; to encourage and not to inflict hardship. This means putting aside a mentality which sees people as 'good' or 'bad', but instead tries to focus on helping others. This will help to create better conditions for everyone. It will give dignity, provide motivation, and make us all better people.
“Before giving each of you my blessing, I would like for us to pray for a few moments in silence. Each of you, in whatever way you can. I ask you, please, to keep praying for me, because I too have my mistakes and I too must do penance. Thank you”.
|The Pope arrives in Paraguay and lauds the role of women in the nation's history|
Vatican City, (VIS) – After his visit to Palmasola, Pope Francis proceeded to the parish church of La Santa Cruz, where he met with Bolivian bishops (37, including bishops emeritus) for an informal meeting lasting around an hour. He then transferred by car, greeted and applauded by thousands of people, to Viru Viru airport where he left for Paraguay. He arrived in the capital Asuncion two hours later, at local time.
In the airport he was received by the president of Paraguay Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, and witnessed a brief choreographic display on the history and culture of Paraguay. He received a floral tribute from a group of children and blessed the plaque commemorating St. John Paul II's visit to this country from 16 to 18 May 1988.
Following the ceremony the Holy Father travelled the fifteen kilometres between the airport and the capital by popemobile. He stopped along the way to greet the inmates at the “Coreccional del Buen Pastor” women's prison, who had written to the Pope asking him to visit them during his trip to Paraguay. As he entered the prison, the choir “Fifty voices of hope” welcomed him by singing for him.
Upon arrival in Asuncion, the Pope transferred to the apostolic nunciature, where he will stay during his days in Paraguay, and from there he travelled by popemobile to the presidential palace, where he was received by President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, who introduced his family members, after which they spoke in private.
The President then accompanied the Pope to the garden of the presidential residence, where he met with members of the government, the National Congress, the Supreme Court of Justice and the diplomatic corps. The Pope addressed those present, recalling Paraguay's suffering throughout history, as well as the resilience and their determination to build a prosperous nation. He also emphasised the role of the Catholic Church in the common effort to construct a just and inclusive society in which all members live in harmony.
“A particular word of thanks is due to all those individuals and institutions who worked so hard to prepare this visit and to make me feel at home. It is not hard to feel at home in so welcoming a land. Paraguay is known as the heart of America, not only because of her geographic location, but also because of the warmth of her hospitality and the friendliness of her people.
“From the first days of the country’s independence to recent times, Paraguay has known the terrible sufferings brought on by war, fratricidal conflict, lack of freedom and contempt for human rights. How much suffering and death! Yet the Paraguayan people have also shown an admirable spirit of perseverance in surmounting adversities and in working to build a prosperous and peaceful nation. Here, in the garden of this palace which has witnessed so much of the country’s history – from the time when it was no more than a riverbank used by the Guarani, until the present day – I wish to pay tribute to the many ordinary Paraguayan people, whose names are not written in history books but who have been, and continue to be, the real protagonists in the life of your nation. I would also like to acknowledge with profound admiration the role played by the women of Paraguay in those very dramatic historical moments, especially during that horrible war which almost managed to destroy fraternity among our peoples. As mothers, wives and widows, they shouldered the heaviest burdens; they found a way to move their families and their country forward, instilling in new generations the hope of a better . May God bless Paraguayan women, the most glorious of all in the Americas!
“A people which forgets its own past, its history and its roots, has no future; it is a dull people. Memory, if it is firmly based on justice and rejects hatred and all desire for revenge, makes the past a source of inspiration for the building of a future of serene coexistence. It also makes us realise the tragedy and pointlessness of war. Let there be an end to wars between brothers! Let us always build peace! A peace which which grows stronger day by day, a peace which makes itself felt in everyday life, a peace to which each person contributes by seeking to avoid signs of arrogance, hurtful words, contemptuousness, and instead by working to foster understanding, dialogue and cooperation.
“For some years now, Paraguay has sought to build a solid and stable democracy. It is proper to recognise with satisfaction progress made in this direction, thanks to the efforts of everyone, even amid great difficulties and uncertainties. I encourage you to continue working to strengthen the democratic structures and institutions, so that they can respond to the legitimate aspirations of the nation’s people. The form of government adopted by your Constitution, a 'representative, participative and pluralistic democracy' based on the promotion of and respect for human rights, must banish the temptation to be satisfied with a purely formal democracy, one which, as Aparecida put it, is content with being 'founded on fair election procedures'. That is a purely formal democracy.
“In every sector of society, but above all in public service, there is a need to reaffirm that dialogue is the best means of promoting the common good, on the basis of a culture of encounter, respect and acknowledgement of the legitimate differences and opinions of others. In the effort to overcome a spirit of constant conflict, unity is always better than conflict; convictions born of ideology or partisan interest should blend advantageously with love of the country and its people. That love must be the incentive to increased administrative transparency and unceasing efforts to combat corruption. I know that today there exists a firm desire to root out corruption.
“Dear friends, in the desire to serve and promote the common good, the poor and needy have to be given priority of place. Paraguay has done much to advance along the path of economic growth. Important steps have been taken in the areas of education and health care. May all social groups work to ensure that there will never again be children without access to schooling, families without homes, workers without dignified employment, small farmers without land to cultivate, or campesinos forced to leave their lands for an uncertain future. May there be an end to violence, corruption and drug trafficking. An economic development which fails to take into account the weakest and underprivileged is not an authentic development. Economic progress must be measured by the integral dignity of persons, especially the most vulnerable and helpless.
“Mr President, dear friends, in the name of my brothers, the bishops of Paraguay, I also wish to assure you of the commitment and cooperation of the Catholic Church in the common effort to build a just and inclusive society where each person can live in peace and harmony. All of us, including the Church’s pastors, are called to be concerned with building a better world. Our sure faith in God, who willed to become man, to live among us and to share our lot, urges us to press forward. Christ opens up to us the path of mercy, which, founded on justice, goes beyond it to inspire works of charity, so that no one will remain on the fringes of this great family which is Paraguay, a land you love and wish to serve.
“With great joy that I have come to this country consecrated to the Blessed Virgin of Caacupe – and here I would like to remember in a special my Paraguayan brothers and sisters in Buenos Aires, my former Diocese; they belong to the parish of the Virgin of the Miracles of Caacupé – I invoke the Lord’s blessings on each of you, your families and all the beloved people of Paraguay. May this country be fruitful, as symbolised by the pasiflora fower on Our Lady’s mantle, and may the national colors which decorate her image draw all the Paraguayan people to embrace the Mother of Caacupe. Thank you very much”.
After his discourse, the Pope attended a musical show with works from the era of the Jesuit Reductions. The Reductions were pioneering missionary villages in which the Christian Indios, separated from the Spanish, lived under the protection of European missionaries. At their height, in around 1731, there were approximately 150,000 Christian Indios in the Jesuit Reductions, but the experience came to an end in 1767 with the expulsion of the Jesuits from all the settlements.
Today, 11 July, the Holy Father will visit the “Ninos de Acosta Nu” paediatric hospital, and will then celebrate Mass in the Marian Shrine of Caacupe. Upon his return to Asuncion he will meet with representatives of civil society; the day will conclude with Vespers and an address to the clergy in the Cathedral of Asuncion.
|First hearing in the trial of ex-nuncio Jozef Wesolowski postponed due to ill health|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning, at 9.30, at the Vatican City State Tribunal, the first hearing took place in the criminal trial of the ex-nuncio to the Dominican Republic Jozef Wesolowski, indicted for the crime of possession of child pornography and for paedophile acts.
The panel of judges is composed of Professor Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Professor Piero Antonio Bonnet; Professor Paolo Papanti-Pellettier; and Professor Venerando Marano, substitute.
The promoter of Justice is Professor Gian Piero Milano, assisted by Professor Alessandro Diddi and Professor Roberto Zannotti. The defence counsel is Antonello Blasi.
At the opening of the trial the promoter of Justice announced that the defendant was not present in court as he has been admitted to hospital.
The Court took due note of the impediment to the presence of the defendant, following the onset of an unexpected illness necessitating his transfer to a public hospital where he is currently in the intensive care unit.
In accordance with Article 471 c.p.p. the Tribunal suspended the trial and postponed it until a later date, awaiting the termination of the cause that has given rise to the postponement.
NOVENA PRAYER - Say for 9 days
Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne Of God. To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbor. Inspire me to imitate you in all things. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom.
Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Your heart was always full of love, compassion and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. You never dismissed without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to you. I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayer and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore (name it). Help me, great St. Benedict. to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.
(3) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary, (3) Glory Be St. Benedict, pray for us.
THE LITANY OF ST. BENEDICT
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Holy Father, Saint Benedict, Pray for us.
Father most reverend, Pray for us.
Father most renowned, Pray for us.
Father most compassionate, Pray for us.
Man of great fortitude, Pray for us.
Man of venerable life, Pray for us.
Man of the most holy conversation, Pray for us.
True servant of God, Pray for us.
Light of devotion, Pray for us.
Light of prayer, Pray for us.
Light of contemplation, Pray for us.
Star of the world, Pray for us.
Best master of an austere life, Pray for us.
Leader of the holy warfare, Pray for us.
Leader and chief of monks, Pray for us.
Master of those who die to the world, Pray for us.
Protector of those who cry to thee, Pray for us.
Wonderful worker of miracles, Pray for us.
Revealer of the secrets of the human heart, Pray for us.
Master of spiritual discipline, Pray for us.
Companion of the patriarchs, Pray for us.
Equal of the prophets, Pray for us.
Follower of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Teacher of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Father of many pontiffs, Pray for us.
Gem of abbots, Pray for us.
Glory of Confessors, Pray for us.
Imitator of anchorites, Pray for us.
Associate of virgins, Pray for us.
Colleague of all the Saints, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. Intercede for us, O holy father Saint Benedict, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray: O God, Who hast called us from the vanity of the world, and Who dost incite us to the reward of a heavenly vocation under the guidance of our holy patriarch and founder, Saint Benedict, inspire and purify our hearts and pour forth on us Thy grace, whereby we may persevere in Thee. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Catholic Church spokesman: Consulate car bomb a warning to Italy
A violent explosion has severely damaged the building of the Italian diplomatic mission in Cairo. The offices were closed and a passer-by was the only victim. Fr. Rafic Greiche tells AsiaNews: "The terrorist attack did not intend to kill, but to send a message to the west and Italy, and show the weakness of the Egyptian government."
Cairo (AsiaNews) - A powerful explosion hit and seriously damaged the Italian consulate in Cairo, Egypt this morning. The bomb was placed in a car parked near the building, one of the oldest in the area.
The blast occurred at 5:22 and being Saturday the offices of the diplomatic mission were closed. Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church commented to AsiaNews this points to the probability that "the goal was not to kill many people, but to send a message to the West and to Italy: terrorism is coming".
In fact, the car bomb only killed one person, a passerby. Four other people were injured, but none seriously. None of the injured included the civilian employees of the Italian diplomatic mission.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Egyptian priest believes it is "a terrorist attack: it couldn’t be anything else. In addition, the authors of the act wanted to show that the Egyptian government is weak and is not able to protect foreigners in its territory, not even embassies and consulates”.
A month ago Hisham Barakat, a prosecutor, was killed by a car bomb in the capital. In the same month, another blast hit a police station, killing three people. The Egyptian security forces have been battling Islamist militants for some time, but the clashes were largely confined to the area of the Sinai. Shared from Asianews.it